The current owners of the Pozo Saloon have filed a lawsuit accusing Levi Beanway, son of the longtime former owners of the property, and his business partner, Tim Reed, of fraud.
Claims in the lawsuit include breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
The complaint alleges that Beanway, looking for a way to avoid losing the saloon, got in touch with San Diego resident Alex Kagan in the fall of 2017 about “doing some form of deal with the Pozo Saloon.” Kagan then contacted Dean Marchant of Los Osos about possibly purchasing the property.
“Neither Kagan nor Marchant had any interest in operating the saloon, but were familiar with its storied history,” the complaint reads.
The lawsuit alleges that Beanway and Reed signed a lease with the current owners and intended to operate the saloon, but failed to pay for rent or utilities, operate the saloon, or address maintenance issues on the property, as required by the lease.
Since Beanway and Reed didn’t uphold the lease, Kagan and Marchant were “required to undertake the obligations of defendants,” and estimate damages of more than $400,000 related to issues including lost rent, making repairs to the property, operating the saloon, obtaining permits and paying “various creditors for liens on the property that defendants agreed to pay,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that Beanway and Reed told Marchant and Kagan “that they were experienced concert promoters, experienced in operating a venue such as the Pozo Saloon,” and had the money to operate the saloon and build the bar, restaurant and concert business as well as “perform all of their obligations under the lease” — but only told Kagan and Marchant these things to get them to buy the property.
The lawsuit estimates damages of more than $800,000 each for the fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims.
In all, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages as well as interest and recouping of legal fees.
When reached for comment on Monday, Beanway said, “The truth of the case will come out in time.” He declined to comment further.
Reed did not respond to an emailed request for comment from The Tribune.
William Browning, the lawyer representing Kagan and Marchant, said Beanway and Reed had not yet responded to the lawsuit. Browning otherwise declined to comment on the case.
The Pozo Saloon was built in 1858, possibly by Pozo founder Ynocente Garcia.
Beanway’s parents, Rhonda and Brian Beanway, bought the property in 1984 and turned it into an outdoor concert venue that drew performers including Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. Their son served as a concert promoter for the venue.
Kagan and Marchant bought the Pozo Saloon in October 2017, rescuing it from foreclosure. Marchant took over as property manager for the saloon on Jan. 15, he told The Tribune in April.
The saloon held its grand re-opening on May 5, about a year after serious health problems forced the Beanways to shutter the venue.
“I fell in love with (the Pozo Saloon) the first time I walked through the door six years ago,” Marchant told The Tribune in April. “It was my favorite place to see a concert. It was my favorite place to go in a Jeep with the kids.”
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